I am at my wits end and could really use some advice. I work from home and my husband and I split our time between London, Argentina and New York for his work. Because we move from house to house every three months, and because I work from home, I have a live-in nanny for my 11 month old daughter. She has been with us for 5 months and she is fabulous on many, many, levels. I trust her with my daughter completely. I tell her that all the time. I am a first time mom and I have learned an enormous amount from her. I have tried to educate myself to see things from the nanny's perspective, as living with a family is hard, particularly with a SAHM (which is why I love this site). She has an extremely generous salary, 6 paid weeks of vacation a year, bank holidays off, health insurance and taxes taken care of...she is Spanish and very close to her family so I encourage her to go home for long weekends outside of her paid vacation so she can get a break (and I love my baby and like to be with her, I just need a nanny as I have to work!) I completely respect her when she is with the baby and don't go in and bother them, and I back her up on any kind of discipline. None of which is too hard as we are often on the same page!
Here's the problem: as I said, she is Spanish and English is her second language. I really don't think she understands a lot of what I say and this has caused huge problems! For example, I often take the baby for a few hours in the afternoon. Technically, M works from 7 am - 6 pm but I know it can be exhausting and I LIKE spending time with my child. So I often take her for a few hours for a playdate or to the park or just to play with me alone in my room. I once found M crying and was very concerned, I thought maybe something had happened to her...she said she thought I thought she wasn't doing a good job, and maybe I should find another nanny! I was horrified and told her I loved her and that sometimes I take the baby to give her a break and because I enjoy spending time with DD. I thought the situation was sorted out but every time I take DD my nanny sulks for about 24 hrs after! I cannot understand it! And it has gotten to the point where I hate the negative energy coming from her and seeing her sulk so I just wait for her days off to spend time with DD. My friends say this isn't normal. But it gets worse.
Once a month - like a CLOCK - not only does she get into a horrible mood but she tries to pick a fight with me and my husband. Example (this is just one of many): we had a dinner party (very rare for us as I am not social and don't often have people over!) I was cooking and some guests were in my kitchen, but we were going to sit down in the dining room. I told the nanny to cook her dinner whenever she wanted: she certainly didn't have to wait until everyone left which would have been very late! She said, oh there are too many people downstairs. I told her I would prepare her a plate and leave it for her. I left the plate out, I told her it was there, we had dinner in dining room, I cleaned up kitchen, plate was still there. By now it was midnight and I didn't want to disturb her as her lights were out. The next day she was in a FOUL mood - so bad that even my husband noticed. We were both concerned and went to ask her what was wrong. She flipped out and yelled at us that she had never been treated so badly by a family, that she didn't eat dinner, that we were 'mean and horrible people'. This is not the first time she has said that. Another time when she was in a bad mood and I asked if everything was ok she told me I was a mean person because of my tone of voice (?) and that I was a bad mother because I didn't spend enough time with my baby. Well I burst into tears - it was so hurtful! I tried to explain that I want to spend time with the baby but I had toned it down when she was working because she made such a big deal about me taking the baby. She just kept saying I was evil (!)
When my husband got home I told him what she said - we all sat down the next day and I tried to explain that she had REALLY hurt my feelings when all I had done was ask if SHE was ok. I asked her to apologise. She refused and said 'this is what I think'. I couldn't believe it. I got pretty angry then and asked if she was trying to get fired or if she wanted to quit. She said no. I again asked for an apology, I told her 'at least say your sorry for hurting my feelings'. She finally did so. It was like dealing with a toddler. Why haven't I fired her? She is AMAZING as a nanny. She would throw herself in front of a bus for my child. I completely trust her judgement. My child adores her. She has taught my child so many things..she is clean, discreet, trustworthy..I have heard so many horror stories that I don't know if I should put up with this behaviour (which literally happens once a month..there have been 5 incidents since she started working 5 months ago). Or do I take back my self-respect and move on? I am really open to suggestions! I have tried talking to her in the times between the moody periods and she just gets defensive and acts as if I am criticising her job performance - which I absolutely am not. It's just how she treats me sometimes, and my husband! - Anonymous
at 6:42 AM